Archive | August 2011

Training, Training, Training, and oh yeah, that little thing called Training.

So, I kinda sorta realized today that there are 83 days, 4 hours, and 32 minutes until my Half Marathon. (I have a counter-downer thing).

Which means, I only have 83 days to finish my training plan. Which also means that I only have 83 days to be completely prepared for this race. Granted, it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t, I’d like to avoid injuries and beat last year’s time…so it’s kind of important.

While I may feel completely unprepared at this point, I have hope for these next few weeks.

Now if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been posting a lot of triathlon-geared things and being so inspired like I was, I started a training plan for that as well.

BUT, here’s the catch, I’m doing them at the same time. So say for instance Tuesday I’m scheduled to bike 40 minutes in the PM, I would also look to my running plan and run the 25 minutes I’m scheduled.

I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds and I have to be honest, I feel fantastic.
I’m excited, nervous, anxious, determined, and a little pumped about all of these opportunities.

While I may feel unprepared, I know come November that I’m going to be a beast.

 

 

Note: While I may be pushing my body, I do NOT recommend following two hardcore training plans. I am following one (Couch to Half Marathon) which is a moderately easy training plan and very do-able if you’re a first timer as well as the Half Ironman Training Plan. If 2 things collide on a day, I only perform one, and it always depends on how my body feels.

Never exert more than you should and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you’re beyond exhausted, stop. If you feel faint, dizzy or weak, stop.

And also, never increase your mileage or time more than 10% a week to avoid overexertion and injury.

This is an article explaining why it’s so important to follow that guideline.

 

In happy news, I bought a new bike pump!
ANNNNNDDDDD, I ran 7 miles without stopping!

Now, that may not be a huge deal to some of you, but to me, it’s amazing.

In 2009, I couldn’t run a half mile, let alone 14 half miles!

HA! Take that, old self.

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I’m a girl, so therefore I love clothes.

But when it comes to running attire, I’m pretty sure I dress like a man.

Besides my pink outfit on race days of course. 🙂

When I go for a daily run, I throw on  ratty old t-shirt and running capris. Every. Time.

So, I’ve made a middle of the year resolution to start wearing more fun clothes. Whether it be for races or out and back runs or long runs. Not only to attract attention from drivers so they don’t hit me, but to also ATTRACT ATTENTION FROM DRIVERS SO THEY DON’T HIT ME. No, but seriously. It’s fun to dress up.

So, I’ve compiled some cute outfits from various stores that I’m in love with.

Now, it’s just a matter of finding the money for them.

Here’s an adorable shirt with an amazing design that I’m in love with.
And this is a skirt that I love the design too, but I don’t know how I feel about running in skirts…
But, THESE are like my dream capris. You don’t even understand. Except they’re ridiculously expensive. Meh.
Annnnd, I also like this, even though I live and Florida and would never have to wear that.

But in other news, I’ve been putting a massive amount of effort into training.
My eating has been ehhhh, but my cross training has been transforming my body into a machine.

My runs have been pretty tedious with my ankle but I’m working on striking on my midfoot every time my foot hits the ground which requires an extreme amount of concentration.

Let me tell you though, I’m loving being able to run to the extent that I used to.

Next time, I’ll be talking about my long runs (which I know I promised this time, but my camera hates me) and posting all sorts of pictures, stories, and “focusing techniques” that I happened upon.

Lucky Charms

I’m not superstitious.

But I am when it comes to races. I have a white hat and a BRIGHT pink shirt that I wear to every single race. I don’t know why but I feel powerful and feminine when I wear it.

Except, I wear it all the time. Hahaha, see?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah. But, the more I looked into it, the more I noticed how tightly runners cling to their lucky charms.

Runner’s World has this beyond witty article about elite athletes who cling to their charms just as much as anyone else. Here are some funny stories;

MICHAEL WARDIAN
2010 bronze medalist 100-K World Championships
‘I wear my lucky socks (The North Face Fire Road). I only wear them to race. Then I triple-knot my shoelaces. Finally, I put on my ball cap backward. I always had to wear a helmet for lacrosse in high school and college, so wearing something on my head gets me ready to compete. It makes me feel serious and gets me ready to push myself to the highest level.’

RYAN HALL
U.S. 12-K and half-marathon record holder
“I shave my head, face, and legs a day before a big race. It makes me feel lighter and faster. It gets me excited to race.”

SCOTT JUREK
Seven-time winner of the Western States Endurance Run
“During my first five Western States victories, I had a lucky pair of shorts that I wore. I also always crumple my race bib and make it more like soft fabric so it moves better with my clothing and my body. It comes from my old Nordic ski-racing days.”

SARA HALL
Runner-up in the 2010 Fifth Avenue Mile
“I’ve raced in the same pair of Japan Thunder spikes for five years. But I always bring three pairs with me when I travel. If one gets lost and one gets stolen, I’ll still have a backup pair.”‘

I love that I’m not alone.

Do you have a ritual or lucky charm?

First Day of Class, Ankle Pain, and Newly Stubbed Toes.

Today was the first day of classes for the fall semester and my schedule is pretty awesome;
9:30-10:45 Pre-Algebra (I SUCK AT MATH.)
12:30-1:45 Psychology
2-3:15 Western Humanities
5:30-6:45 World Literature

All of my professors speak english, which is a definite bonus, and all seem super sweet. (So far).

Yesterday, I went with my running buddy Sarah (she’s in blue on the left) to a local park.
 We did our normal 2.4 mile loop but my ankle was throbbing beyond the point of pain. I’m not sure what is wrong with it, but I’m calling for an appointment this week. Hopefully something easy to fix! 🙂

I bought new athletic tape that supposed to help with injuries before and after you get them, so we’ll see how that goes. I tried some yesterday but it was struggling to stay attached to my skin.

In other news, Sarah has tentatively agreed to do the Princess Half with me (if she feels like she’s trained enough), so I’m super stoked!

And I totally want to dress up like a princess, don’t judge me.

Now, I’ve really wanted to get into swimming because I used to swim competitively when I was younger and I miss the way it made me feel, it’s kind of like running but…submerged in water. I also look forward to training for a triathlon and a third of the race is swimming, so I figure it’s important to start somewhere, but there’s quite literally no where to train in my area.

Granted, I live by the ocean and could just go back and forth on the shore there but everywhere I’ve read has said it’s safer to start in a pool where you can easily get out if you feel too tired (and there aren’t a plethora of sea creatures nibbling at my feet) and go from there. But I’m pretty desperate so I might hit the ocean, anyone have any advice?

In training news, my longest long run was always 9 miles, because there’s a loop I can do where I start at my house, run the beach road and end up back at my house 9 miles later, but I’m serious about improving my half time this year so I need a better/longer run.

So, lo and behold, I found one! Well, more like made one. I love mapmyrun.com because it’s like, “hey, I want to try something new but I have no idea how I can loop it back!” and it’s like, “no problem, I got this.”

So, here’s my route. Nifty, right? I thought so, too.

Anywho, Women’s Half Marathon released their medals for the St. Petersburg race a couple weeks ago and I have to say, I am absolutely in LOVE with them! Double palm trees? I think I will, yes.

🙂

Next time I’ll be posting some pictures of my long run and misc. stuff.

Until then, check out my updated training schedule.

 

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention my toe-stubbing incident.
I’m talking on the phone with my dad and I’m laying on my stomach on my bed when I bring my foot down and it catches the edge of the coffee table down there.

My toe is purple. And swollen. And extremely painful. I’ll post pictures later! hahaha….

Benefits of Cross Training

So, I consider myself a runner wholeheartedly.

(That’s me in pink)

But I love soccer, cycling, going to the gym, volleyball, rollerblading…and I feel no guilt about it. I always feel like there’s a stigma that runners can only run, bikers can only cycle, soccer players can only play soccer. But why not do what I love?

And there’s a ridiculous amount of benefits.

This is an article that shows how you can “borrow” from other sports to boost your running performance.

The biggest benefit that probably comes to mind first is injury prevention. As a runner I’m constantly stressing about how my ankles land and if my knees are holding up properly and how tight my calves get. To have a little peace of mind when it comes to injury is a blessing.

According to Matt Fitzgerald from the August 2004 issue of Runner’s World, “Overuse injuries are the curse of the running life, a never-ending epidemic among pavement (and trail) pounders everywhere. Nevertheless, injuries aren’t inevitable. Most overuse injuries can be prevented or at least prevented from returning. (More than half of running injuries are actually reinjuries.) Most of them can be blamed on four factors.1. Inadequate recovery (when your body doesn’t fully recover from one run to the next)2. Biomechanical irregularities (such as overpronation and leg-length discrepancy)3. Muscular imbalances caused by running itself (tight hamstrings and weak quadriceps, for example)4. Improper or worn-out footwearCross-training can’t help you with your footwear choices, but it can address the other three factors.If you’re a beginning runner who hasn’t yet developed strength and flexibility imbalances, you can get big benefits from endurance cross-training. Your ankles, knees, and lower back aren’t used to the repetitive impact of running, so you can use walking, elliptical machines, and other low-impact conditioning tools to improve endurance without beating up your most vulnerable joints, muscles, and connective tissues. You can gradually mix in some running once you’ve established a base of fitness (and lost some weight, if that’s an issue).”

So, “Endurance cross-training can therefore help you ease into the sport, if you’re a new runner, by reducing the amount of impact your body absorbs. And if you’re a veteran runner, it helps you stay in the sport. It isn’t uncommon for longtime runners to lose so much knee cartilage through repetitive impact that they develop osteoarthritis and are forced to hang up their shoes. By mixing in some weight lifting and swimming today, you just might spare yourself the frustration of only being able to swim and lift weights in the future.”

I personally am new to cycling, but have fallen in love with it and use my fuji road bike all the time. As of recently, I’ve decided to use it to get to work. The more you’re using muscles that don’t get frequented, the better good you’re doing for your body.

I’ve also really wanted to try yoga, pilates, and kick boxing. Any insider’s tips regarding those?
 

Why We Run

There are many reasons why people run so subsequently, there are many different types of runners.

I personally started running for clarity and to lose weight. It was a very hectic, dark time in my life and so one December night I ran in my faded blue sweatshirt and sweatpants through my college campus and through downtown.

I was slow, breathing heavy, and had my music blaring, but it felt right. Felt good, calming. So I decided to make a change. The second I walked back into my dorms, I changed my outlook. I decided right then and there to become a runner.

I weighed 230 pounds, was failing my classes, was a broke college freshman, and felt completely alone in the world, but as a runner, I felt empowered, strong, fearless.

Running gave me the sense that I deserved to be alive that I had been struggling to find for so long. Gave me something to look forward to, in essence saved my life.

Slowly, my eating habits changed, I became physically stronger, I could run 5 miles without stopping, I was happy. And people noticed.

One day, my mom came up to me and asked, “Do you feel happier?”
“Yeah, I really do.” was my response.
Because I seriously did.

My journey aside, there are “categories” of runners like; runners for charity, competition runners, weight-loss runners, triathlon training runners, and the “Sunday” runners.

I wrote an analytical essay last semester about these different kinds of runners and how they impact the community and the running world as well as themselves. I gathered a crap-ton of facts regarding running and health impacts and such and somehow came to the conclusion that we all for one reason.

To run.

Weight-loss runners run to lose weight, but by running to accomplish a goal they associate how positive their outlook on their weight is with running.
Click here for fantastic articles related to weight loss running!

Charity runners go to different sponsored events to raise funds, or run in memory of, or support someone else, but they too associate their struggles and triumphs with running.
 Triathlon Training runners have 3 times the work to do than a “normal” runner, but running is an integral part of their training that, if not completed, could be the downfall of their race.

“Sunday” runners are those people you see on the trails or in the parks who go running every now and again because maybe it makes them happy or maybe they feel like its doing their bodies good. (Which it is!) Nonetheless, they’re running.

It’s hard not to feel connected to the running community whether you’re jogging through a park flashing a quick smile at the passing runner or competing in a local race, there’s a sense of belonging unbeknownst to the rest of the world. 🙂

As John Bingham stated, “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”